tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC February 24, 2013 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
welcome to "world news." tonight, daytona drama. nascar's big race goes on after the horrifying crash that left dozens of spectators injured. the scramble overnight to make the rerpds. and we ask, how safe of fans? one famous driver calling for more to be done to protect them. whiteout, hail and tornadoes in a whiteout. the wild weather coming this week. our ginger zee is on storm watch in the heartland. final blessing. the enormous crowd to hear pope benedict deliver his last public words of prayer. this as more cardinals are asked today to skip the election of a new pope. and the academy awards, the
show stopping finale. the brand new host. >> the biggest challenge is going to be getting there on time. i think it starts at 5:30. >> and meet the only two people on earth who already know who the winners are. >> good evening, everyone. thank you so much for joining us on this spd night. i'm paula faris. davis mur is on assignment. we begin with the dramatic start to the nascar season. the stadium packed with 167,000 fans for the celebrated daytona 500 today. they were there to watch jimmie johnson cross the finish line and take the season's first prize. but in the back of their minds, there were these images of the terrifying end to yesterday's preliminary race. a spin-out involving a dozen cars. one mangled car smashing into
the fence and breaking into pieces. some pieces striking fans and injuring 28 people. after a frantic night repairing all of that damage, today's race went on. the lingering questions about fan safety remain. abc's matt gutman is at the speedway with the latest. >> reporter: tonight it was vintage nascar, the fireworks bravado, and the speed. jimmie johnson taking home the biggest trove ne nascar. danica patrick, who made history earlier this week by taking pole position, finished eighth. >> the fers with which these cars come around that bend is absolutely incredible. they're flying in here at 200 miles per hour, and when they pass, you can't even hear anything. and it was that speed which overshadowed today's race when -- bang! an artillery blast of debris right into the stands on the last lap of the daytona nationwide yesterday.
a pack of cars pirouetting at the finish line. and as kyle larson's number 32 car cartwheeled into the stands . all you can do is get down. you could see the stuff coming. >> reporter: you can see larson's car disintegrate, one of his tires launched into the crowd. 28 injured, two of them seriously. even a minor among those hospitalized. and look closely, this spectator ducking and hopping over wreckage. >> now each one of these weighs about 75 pounds. imagine one of these flying into those stands at 200 miles per hour. rson's engine piercing the metal catch fencing between spectators and the track. >> the car was right here. the axle, the engine, everything. right here, and it was hot. >> reporter: even drivers like dario franchitti wants more protection for fans. tweeting his demand for, quote, an alternative to catch fencing. there has to be a better solution. >> reporter: but look at that fence today. mended with uncanny speed. and fans out by the tens of thousands.
many in the same seats. >> a piece of wire off the fence came up and hit me in the back. a guy right next to us got hit in the leg and cut up pretty bad. >> reporter: how many people got hit yesterday or saw something yesterday? brandon bauman said he was terrified to return. >> you know at any moment somebody can get turned again and something can break loose, and that's how the racing is. you just never know. >> matt gutman fromidate own a thank you, matt. and now to the monster storm brewing tonight, dumping a second round of heavy snow in the nation's mid section, about a dozen states from colorado to michigan have warnings and watches and several of those states are bracing for blizzards. colorado has been in the eye of the storm today and our extreme weather team has the details beginning with abc's clayton sandell in denver tonight. >> denver's biggest storm yet hit in darkness. by dale light, icy roads turns driving into a dangerous game of
traffic pin ball. >> there's a car spinning out live on the air right here. all day high winds and snow equalled headaches for drivers. even big rigs needed chains. nearly a hundred plows deployed around denver, struggling to keep up with the snow as much as two inches an hour. the snow has forced homeless shelters to open early. 465 people will stay here tonight out of the cold. >> at the airport, 200 flights were canceled. >> good to be out here. it's the best. been waiting for this all year. didn't get my snow shoes until right now. >> reporter: we've already gotten nine inches here, but denver will see up to a foot of snow, two feet in the mountains, by the storm goes out. >> thank you. as for where the snow is moving, ginger zee is in kansas which is
bracing for more snow. >> reporter: i was just in the city 48 hours ago. that's when i left because i was covering this. they had more than nine inches last week. that's a lot for kansas city and they're going to get another six to ten, even 12 inches again by tuesday. let's talk about the timing of the storm, though, because it's not here yet. let's go back to the amrila, texas area, that gets it tonight. into western oklahoma, southwest kansas, that's for tomorrow. then it starts to move wichita to kansas city, monday night into tuesday, moves toward the great lakes mid week. we have to look at the warnings. blizzard conditions don't just mean snow. it means visibility is reduced to less than a quarter mile and wind gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater. >> how much snow are we talking? >> that's the big question tonight. now i have the answer. the purple is a foot or more of snow. a lot of the shades of white will have that blowing snow and that that will be an issue.
second threat i need to mention, severe weather, from louisiana to the florida panhandle. >> all right, jinker, thank you. we go to the vatican where pope benedict's days as head of the catholic church are dwindling, but crowds are growing, and so are the whispers and rumors about why he's leaving. abc's david wright reports from the vatican city again tonight. >> the crowd today was twice the size of last week's sunday blessing. a hundred thousand people come to say goodbye. benedict said his goodbyes by way of a gospel verse. luke 9:28. at this point in my life, the lord is calling me to climb the mountain, saying he'll still serve the church, but in a way better suited to his age and strength. this time next week, the
campaign to choose benedict's successor will be well under way. but it's already clear it will be anything but politics as usual. >> this week, the vatican struggled to refute unattributed reports in the italian paper that a church sex and blackmail scandal is about to explode. today more voting cardinals were being pressured to bow out because they've been tainted by the sexual abuse scandal. among them, roger mahoney of los angeles and shaun brady of ireland, both of whom covered up for pedophile priests. today new allegations. four priests in scotland told a british newspaper he made unwanted sexual advances. the cardinal, known for his outspoken views on homosexuality denies the charges. >> when you have a transition, you get tons of rumors and whispers. most of them are not true. >> reporter: today benedict asked for a show of good faith.
david write, abc news, the vatican. tomorrow oscar pistorius will support to a south african police station for the first time since he was released from jail. twice weekly visits are a condition of his bail as he's charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. her parents gave their first television interview since their daughter's death. >> all i want, whether it will help thim or it won't, he must come up with the honest truth. >> you can't come to terms with this. >> pistorius maintains he mistook steenkamp as an intruder. the prosecution says he shot her after a heated argument. afghanistan is ordering u.s. forces out of two provinces near the capital. hamid karzai has armed agents have been responsible for torture and murder there. he did not say it was americans doing such things, but he's holding the u.s. responsible for
hiring afghan personnel to conduct those operations. and john kerry is on his first visit, the first stop of a ten-day drip through europe. his mission, to get an idea how other nations few world conflicts. back in washington, congress returns to work tomorrow with a giant deadline ahead of them. on friday, $85 billion in automatic across the board budget cuts kick in, unless they can agree on an alternative. so what are the prospects with just five days ago? abc's david kerley reports from the white house. >> reporter: for a change -- bipartisan agreement in washington tonight. but it's acknowledgement that those automatic cuts, which just about everyone hates, will probably start friday. >> unless the republicans are willing to compromise and do a balanced approach, i think it will kick in.
it will kick in, but you're not going to see $85 billion all of a sudden shrink from the federal government. >> reporter: if you listen to the president -- >> thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. >> reporter: it sounds like a disaster movie. childcare canceled for tens of thousands of kids. long airport security lines. flight delays with a shortage of controllers. and military cuts that will leave us "second rate" according to the defense secretary. but those cuts, 5 to 7% for most government departments, will be phased in over the next seven months. and no workers will stay home, furloughed, for at least a month. still the cuts are across the board. and that worries supporters of the defense department. >> i can find lots of waste and mismanagement, but, by god, across the board cuts are the worst and most cowardly way to approach this situation. >> reporter: the roadblock? no budget deal. the president wants more tax revenue. republicans say no. they've already raised taxes on the rich. >> senate democrats are promising to bring up a plan to avert the automatic cuts.
but it's unlikely that could pass in the republican house. so managing and governing through crisis continues, paula. >> certainly does. david, thank you for that report. across the country, in l.a., no expense is being spared for tonight's academy awards. this year the production is being billed as bigger and more show-stopping than ever. and in addition to all that suspense about who will win, there's the wild card with seth mcfar lane posting for the first time. >> paul a the word for tonight is wow. that's what the producers are promising for each of the 13 performances planned for this evening, most in any oscar show ever. >> the oscars will even end differently, not after the best picture is announced, but with a big musical finale. ♪ >> reporter: a decade after chicago's best picture wins, catherine zeta, queenula teefa
and richard gere will be reuniting on stage. >> bond, james bond. >> reporter: james bond will be honored for 50 years of thrill. adele singing her nominated hit ""skyfall." even barbara streisand will perform at the oscars for the first time in 36 years. ♪ >> reporter: as usual, the toughest job of the night goes to the host. it is sink or swim for first-timer seth mcfar lane. the funny man says he's been working on his material for five months. he even asked last year's host, billy crystal, who's done it nine times in all for advice. mcfar lane says crystal told him to wear comfortable shoes. whatever shoes he does wear, they'll be big ones to fill. and still ahead the daytona 500 crash raising new questions don't about the potential danger for fans in the stands.
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>> reporter: shock and horror as fans realize what's just happened. this cellphone footage capturing their sheer disbelief. but this weekend's crash at the daytona track, isn't the first time racing fans have been hit with flying debris. >> there have been another accident. it involves one of our leaders today. >> in 1998 at this indycar race in michigan, parts of a car hurdled into the stands, killing three fans. and the deadliest crash, this 1955 disaster at the le mans race in france. 83 spectators were killed. in modern racing fans are rarely hurt. injuries at sporting events, though usually minor are more common at baseball and hockey games. in 2002 after a flying puck struck and killed 13-year-old brittany ceasel, they increased protection for fans.
>> they limit their linlt. in the text on the ticket in fine print. it says, if you attend a sporting match, you waif your right to sue for any injury. >> this hoket ticket stub to new york's madison square garden reads the holder assumes all risks and danger of personal injury and all other hazards in any way arise from the event. but some fans have fought back after getting hurt. by years ago shoes an roads was struck in the jaw from a broken bat. 12 years later she's suing the dodgers for her medical expenses. >> i see people sitting close with their children, i don't think they have any idea how dangerous is really is. >> injuries are rare, but fans do take a risk when attending races and games. experts tell us that increasing safety for the crowd would mean keeping them farther away from the action. >> not quite a speaktator sport when you get involved like that.
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and finally tonight oscar's big secret and the two men whose job it is to keep. they're the only people on the planet who already know who's going to win at tonight's academy awards and they won't tell anyone. abc's nick watt gave it a shot anyway. who will win? who will bathe in oscar glory tonight? right now rick and brad, accountants at price water house cooper are the only people who know. >> look me in the eye and tell me you've never told anybody anything ever? >> i've never told anybody anything ever. >> not even your family? >> they don't even ask.
>> the ballots are sent out to 6,000 members of the academy and are tabulated by price water house. >> and then no matter what, they nominate meryl streep. >> reporter: not true. the cases are held in a secret location. >> i see you're not on the face. >> we take separate routes to the academy awards show. we even have our own security individual that's there to, as rick always likes to say, protect the envelopes and not us. >> colin firth, "the king's speech." >> reporter: what about the runner's rup? >> there are people who missed out by one or two votes and you're the only people who know. >> correct. >> and you won't tell us? >> that's correct. >> backstage at the oscars, certainly humbling and reminds you why you're an accountant. >> reporter: keep an eye out for them on the red carpet.
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